White House Plans Public Appeal on Tax Increases
The White House plans an aggressive public campaign to build support for its approach to reduce the deficit through tax increases and spending cuts, a sharp contrast to its private talks with Republicans that faltered last year.
President Barack Obama will meet with labor leaders Tuesday and a number of chief executives on Wednesday, in an effort to solidify backing for his proposals.
Both groups carry sway with different segments of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Mr. Obama also plans to travel outside of Washington to try and broaden national support for his proposal that includes tax increases on the wealthy—which White House officials believe won public backing in last week's election.
Mr. Obama has planned the meetings as policy makers start work to craft a package of deficit-reduction measures that could come in place of the so-called fiscal cliff, the mandatory spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to begin in January.
His meetings with labor and business leaders come before he meets with congressional leaders Friday, evidence the White House believes Mr. Obama can use momentum from his re-election to marshal outside support and heighten pressure on Republicans to agree to tax increases on upper-income earners.
The strategy comes as many Republicans appear to have softened their antitax rhetoric in the wake of the election, with many openly acknowledging that higher taxes will likely be part of any plan to reduce the deficit.
Several Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), have said in recent days higher tax revenue could be part of a deal. They have refused to consider higher tax rates, saying that new revenue should come instead from new limits on deductions and other tax breaks, suggesting one potential approach to a deal...
Republicans also say significant changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid would have to be part of any package.
Illustrating the shifting ground, conservative commentator William Kristol said on Fox News Sunday, "It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires." This appeared to suggest Republicans offer Mr. Obama a deal that would raise tax rates on households making more than ...